Trust Yourself! Take what resonates and toss what doesn’t work for you

This is a guest post by Dallas Travers

Along with flexibility and patience, the business of acting requires some serious trust. You must trust yourself during your journey, even when things don’t look the way you thought they would.  You must trust in your own decisions enough to know when to change your mind or make adjustments.  You must trust that you are doing your job to the best of your abilities and trust that others are doing the same.  You must trust in your long-term vision and know that each step you take brings you one step closer to living the career of your dreams.  The Tao of Show Business outlines a path to success and fulfillment in this industry, but only you can know your way.  Trust yourself to discover and master your own perfect way.

Besides, the opinions of others are really none of your business. You can meet with the industry’s most powerful talent agent who shares with you all her secrets to how this business really works.  Though some or even most of the insight may resonate with you, you cannot expect or allow these words of wisdom to directly apply to you in your own journey.  That’s just not how it works.  I said it before, and I’ll say it again:  there is no single set path to success in this business.  So eat the fish and spit out the bones.  Take what resonates and test it out while you toss whatever doesn’t work for you.

Do Whatever You Want.

Yeah, that’s right.  I said it.  Go and do whatever you want to do.  I dare you.  You might be surprised to learn that what you want to do is actually in line with your highest good, so go for it.  Do whatever you want.  I know, there’s a lot of stuff you’re supposed to do on a daily basis in order to make this whole acting thing happen.  But who wants to do what they’re supposed to do all the time? It’s no fun working under obligation.  Doing so often leads to boredom, loss of energy or even career paralysis.  Trust your gut and do what you want.

Last year, an actress named Bobbi hired me to help her find some motivation.  She’s a busy person with a lot going on.  She’s not only an actor, but she’s also a writer and stand-up comedian with quite an interesting social life.  Needless to say, Bobbi’s calendar is a full one.  With such a busy schedule full of appointments and obligations, Bobbi was drained and lacked any passion for her career.  Simply put, the girl was overwhelmed and exhausted. With so many projects going on, Bobbi couldn’t devote sufficient energy to anything she worked on.  She was spread too thin. Bobbi felt like she wasn’t good at anything because she couldn’t effectively throw her energy in a million and one different directions.

Digging a little deeper, I discovered that Bobbi treated everything she did as an obligation rather than a choice.  She believed that she had to work really hard in order to make it.  She believed she had to stay super busy every day.  If she didn’t, somehow that meant she wasn’t going to be successful.  Bobbi stayed really busy doing the essential stuff she knew she was supposed to do, but nowhere did she find the time to do what she wanted.  She also had a hard time saying no, which wasn’t really working for her either.  It’s no wonder that Bobbi lost steam.

So, I challenged Bobbi to try a little experiment.  For two weeks, Bobbi agreed to do only those things she really wanted to do.  She agreed to wake up each morning and ask herself, “What do I want to do today?”  Her answer would then dictate how she spent her time.

This idea made Bobbi pretty nervous.  She feared that if left to her own devices, she’d just stay in bed eating pizza, watching Sex in the City reruns and ignoring her career.  But she agreed that her old way of doing things wasn’t working, so she’d give it a whirl.

What happened next was pretty cool.  Bobbi was right.  She did spend close to two full days just hanging out, pigging out, and watching television.  She soon grew tired of that, so she dug out an old, unfinished script and began work on it.  Over the next few days, she continued to do whatever she wanted and she got tons of stuff done.  Not only did she finish the script, but she also joined an improv group, made some agent calls, ate great food, and got a more flexible day job.  Bobbi stopped hanging out with the wrong people, she began attending regular yoga class, and started cooking at home for fun.  When Bobbi consciously chose how to spend her time, she realized that her choices were absolutely in line with her highest good.

Owning her choices, she fully enjoyed everything she did free of guilt or obligation.  When Bobbi compared her list of obligations to her list of want-to-dos, she discovered that the lists weren’t that different.  Knowing she could choose her tasks, she was once again in charge of her life.  Even when she ate pizza in bed, she loved it and owned that decision as well.  Life for Bobbi became fun, productive, and empowering.

Bobbi felt liberated and in command because her career belonged to her once again.  She could indeed do anything she wanted to do and what she really wanted to do was creatively and aggressively pursue her acting and screenwriting career.

What would be different about your career if you only did those things you absolutely wanted to do?  How would you approach your to-do list if it only contained tasks you truly desired to take on?  How might you feel about your life if you lived each day exactly according to your inner most desires?  What would it take to trust yourself enough to take complete ownership of your choices, your actions, and your results?

 

Respected as one of the entertainment industry’s leading experts, Dallas Travers teaches actors the career and life skills often left out of traditional training programs. Her groundbreaking book, The Tao of Show Business, has won over five awards including first prizes at The Hollywood Book Festival and the London Festival along with the National Indie Excellence Award. She has helped thousands of actors to increase their auditions, produce their own projects, secure representation and book roles in film and television.

If you’re ready to jump-start your acting career, get your FREE Thriving Artist Starter kit now at http://www.dallastravers.com

1 Comment

  1. DJ

    May 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    This is great, Dallas. Couldn’t agree more with the notion of letting yourself off the hook, so to speak — following your passion means trusting & having faith in yourself, and the abundance of the universe to make all your dreams a reality!

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